Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton are the parents of Trayvon Martin who was shot to death a month ago in Sanford, Florida. There were invited by members of the U.S. House of Representatives Black Caucus to attend Tuesday's discussion.
Trayvon's mother and father will be in the audience, but won't testify during the two-hour briefing organized by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee. Their family attorney Benjamin Crump will testify, according to the Huffington Post.
"Participants will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. and a briefing at 3 p.m., with the goal of assessing 'the role of the federal government regarding racial profiling and hate crime issues,' according to a hearing notice."
Only Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee will be in attendance, as of the last count taken late Monday. All members who are Democrats were invited, no matter their race and Republicans were told about the gathering.
Because the Democrats are the minority party in the House of Representatives, they have no power to call for a hearing. It is why the meeting is not characterized as such.
Politico carried the statement issued by the Democrats on the Committee. "This forum will serve as a discussion of the issues surrounding when the federal government can intervene in matters relating to hate crimes, the interplay between the federal government and states when hate crimes occur, the application of federal hate crimes law, and other legal issues surrounding federal civil rights laws."
Congress members intend to get to the "Stand Your Ground" laws and their intent as well as their practical effect. The Florida law on the subject provides for using deadly force in defense of one's self even if there is no danger of lethal consequences, and without the necessity of making attempts to flee the site.
The Florida investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin got heated on Monday when the suspected killer's lawyer ditched a planned interview on Monday night, mere minutes prior to its airing.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell and his show "The Last Word" were left hanging after Craig Sooner who represents George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch patrol member left the Orlando studio set up for a remote on-camera interview.
O'Donnell railed about it, calling him a coward and a person unwilling to face tough and probing questions unlike what the MSNBC host called "softball" questions that had been posed to Sooner by other interviewers.
One of the questions O'Donnell intended to pose was about George Zimmerman's injuries that Mr. Sooner claims he sustained at the hands of Trayvon Martin. Were there hospital or doctor's records to document them? The TV host posed the questions to an empty chair in the abandoned studio. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons